3. Wooden Roller Coaster – PNE Playland (1958)

Single Top 10

2002 Top10 Watch List

3. Wooden Roller Coaster – PNE Playland (1958)
PNE Wooden Roller Coaster (1958)

Playland’s Wooden Roller Coaster is known across North America as one of the best coaster rides going, but when the PNE picks up and leaves Hastings Park the coaster’s future is bleak.

Landscape architects have suggested that it be broken up and used as garden ‘sculpture’ in a redesigned park. This rare wooden coaster deserves better – much better.

The Wooden Roller Coaster is constructed entirely of specially treated fireproof woods and was built from scratch on the PNE Grounds. It’s 75 feet high at its tallest point, and in 1958, the year of its construction, it was one of the two highest roller coasters in North America.

Walker LeRoy, of Oaks Park, Oregon, oversaw construction using the plan created by Carl Phare, the world’s foremost roller coaster builder and designer. This was the last coaster that Carl Phare designed and he said, “I’m really proud of this ride, I know I’ll never build another so I put everything I have learned over the past 56 years into this one. There’ll never be another one as good.”


Update 28 April 2008: The 2008 season celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wooden Roller Coaster (1958-2008), and it’s still going strong!